No Home Run For a U.S. Wind Farm

The New York Times, Thursday, January 21, 2014:  BUSINESS DAY

U.S. Offshore Wind Farm , Made in Europe, by Diane Cardwell

“Cape Cod Project Shows Industry’s Shortcomings

Middleborough, Mass.–Carl Horstmann strode around the floor of this factory here, passing welders honing head-high metal tubes as sparks flew.  He is one of a dying breed: the owner of MassTank, a steel tank manufacturer in a down-at-the -heels region that was once a hub of the craft.

Four years ago, having heard of plans to build a $2.6 billion wind farm off the shores of Cape Cod, he saw opportunity. Much of the work, the developers and the politicians promised, would go to American companies like his, in what would be the dawn of a lucrative offshore wind industry in the United States.

Now,after Mr. Horstman has spent more than $500,000, much has changed. Cape Wind, the wind farm’s developer, …is still caught up in legal and financial wrangling and faces a tenuous future.  And, even if the project is completed, most of the investment and jobs for supplying the parts will go not to American companies like Mass Tank, but to European manufacturers.

Mr. Horstman’s company lost a bid to build support structures to a German company it had brought in as a partner, and last month Cape Wind completed arrangements for other major components, including the giant blades, towers and turbines, to be built in Denmark…

Despite the disappointment, Mr. Horstmann and is team are pursuing other possibilties.  There is interest in New Jersey, they say, in their participation in a factory planned for the Fisherman’s Project (Fisherman’s Energy, near Atlantic City).  But their chance to put Mass Tank at the forefront of serving the Atlantic Coast offshore industry may have slipped through their fingers.  ‘We tried to hit a home run with this,’ Mr. Horstmann said.   And we didn’t.”

A home run is a baseball term which is explained in;  just open the site and type in “home run” in the space on the left for idioms, and click to see the explanations and sample sentences.


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